Monday, September 12, 2011

Reality of a Dream ~ The Loss of a Mother

I had a dream. I had dreams of falling off bridges over and over again. The one thing that terrifies me the most, bridges, came to me in a night long of nightmares and no matter how many times I woke up I would go back to sleep starting up where I left off. Falling and falling… falling. It was an endless cycle that night and when I woke up it was Sunday morning and I had a horrible headache. I think it was the night she died, this is what I believe. Was that my fear of losing her? Was it that there had not been the time to tell her all of the things I needed to tell her? Things should not have been left between us as they were. Both of us are to blame in this. Were the nightmares her fear of leaving? Was she not ready? In my heart of hearts, I am not sure she is at peace. I have seen a peaceful death in my daughter's father, Kevin. I have asked Kevin to help her if she needs it. When we viewed her at the funeral home all I could see was my Grandmother and I was so surprised. I had never really thought my mother looked like her mother but there it was much of Elizabeth Fender Duncan there in her daughter.

I have lost my mother too early. She was found August 30, 2011 and it seems as though she went swiftly. I am grateful and thankful that she went as she did and not suffering for weeks, months or years. She was very lucky to be given a quick out. I hope I am as lucky when my time comes. I couldn't have stood to watch her suffer and I never felt she was fully content in this world. In some ways I know she is happier. She has been so unhappy since my step father died. A local psychic took one look at me and my mother about 20 odd years ago… or maybe 30. She said I had an old soul and I was my mother's soul's teacher and here to bring her through this life. I am not sure how I feel about these things but I am not sure I did too swift of a job here either.  
It was never easy being my mother's daughter. She and I are so much alike in many ways but there is a lifetime of head butting. She was a difficult woman but I loved her with every ounce of my being. I marched to my own drum from a very young age and she liked everything around her to be as she liked it. So I fought the control as most children did and do.  
I have lost a parent, my mother, and it is turning out to be a hard thing to reconcile. We all made mistakes, we all could have done something different. What I do know is it gives me a view of where my energies need to go. My family unit is strong but it will be made stronger and there are things I have to do and say to my children so that they know where they fit into my life.

Don't get me wrong, there is a lot of humor, fun and good times in the long past years. In fact the funeral director was very patient with my sister and I as we let our senses of humor get the better of us while making arrangements.

The news came on my birthday… this birthday thing is an interesting thing.. Carrie Baldwin (My great-great grandmother) lying in her dying bed asking the date until March 24 hit, and then she died, in peace. Her husband's birthday and death date were March 24.. That was my mother's birth date too. She did not die on my birthday but that will be what he death certificate reads.

And a note to the Genealogists, I thought I was being such a dweeb when the funeral director was going over the information for the death certificate and obituary notice. I kept interjecting with information saying I wanted it clear for those looking at this information in 100 years. He was nice, tolerant but then toward the end he added something else to the obit and got this little grin on his face and said, "for the future researchers". I had to laugh and it turns out he is married to the Town Historian so he knows! It was odd at that moment all I could think of was the various webinars I have sat in on hearing, "the facts of the death certificate is only as good as the informants knowledge". I am happy to report that a future genealogist will get accurate information from these two sources.

Rest in peace, Mom. I love you.
JoAnne Duncan Statt
March 24, 1940 - August 30, 2011

Elizabeth Fender Duncan, JoAnne Duncan Stevens Statt & Sharon Stevens Lighthouse


Elizabeth O'Neal said...

So sorry for your loss, Sharon. It's always too early to lose your mother. I lost my mother 10 years ago, and it's still very hard. When it came time to provide information for her death certificate, I couldn't remember a thing - my mind was a total blank. And this was after 13 years as a genealogist. You're lucky you could function well enough to provide answers that will be useful in 100 years!

Andrea Kelleher said...

I was very moved by your post. I am sorry for your loss. Your tribute to your mother and your relationship with her absolutely beautiful. No one is ever ready for when their mother passes. I hope you doing better a bit better now. I look forward to reading more of your story.